COWDENBEATH Karate Club travelled to Lisbon for the 2018 Lisbon Open after many months of pre training and preparation beforehand to be ready for this massive international karate tournament which attracted 1200 entries from across Europe.

The event was over two days with the adults fighting on the Saturday and the youths on the Sunday.

Instructor Ben Smith was first up but lost in the early rounds to a top European fighter but again great experience learned before Melissa Maxwell then fought in the female adult black belt section .

Melissa despite only being 18 years of age reached the final against one of Europe's top heavy weights, but eventually won the title with some fantastic kicks to win the gold medal and the 2018 title.

Next up was her sister Samantha who was in the event largest section with four separate pools of young fighters entered. Her opening fight was a tough encounter but Sami won 7-5 against French opposition she then won 4 further fights to win her own pool section leaving her in the last four of the event.

A comprehensive 4-0 against a local fighter placed her in the final for which she saved her best till last to again win and secure the gold medal . That concluded the fighting for the Saturday before Sunday's event for the younger fighters.

First up was Lucy McDonald who lost in the last second of her opening bout to then leave the stage for Robyn Ironside. Robyn won her opening fight 10-0 against a German and then won fights against local students to reach the semi-finals which she lost 3-2 but again won a great bronze medal.

Last up was the youngest Cowdenbeath fighter Elize Bauld. Elize blasted her way to the final to meet another Scottish fighter but again Elize showed great skill and composure to narrowly win the championship and finish off a fantastic tournament for the Cowdenbeath club.

Despite only entering six fighters Cowdenbeath finished second in the overall medal table with 146 different associations entered achieving their best ever results achieved. Coach for the tournament was Grant Robertson and a big thanks went to all the parents and supporters who travelled to this event.

Club instructors Gordon, Tiff , and Allan Goodwin were delighted with everyone's performance and efforts , they commented: "This group of young and dedicated students showed the will to win and skill to compete at the highest levels. "Going abroad is the acid test in karate as the level is very high and the pressure is fully on. Preparation is everything and they all showed their desire by training nearly every night prior to the event which reaped great rewards for the club and the fighters. "Despite our club being very small in numbers the training strategy has been spot-on for the student to progress to the highest level".

The club has its own gym based in the town and is open to everyone regardless of sex, ability or ag . For January the training is free for all new starts so why not get involved with one of the UK's best clubs, proven at every level, for either competing, learning basic karate, weight loss or just getting fit.

The club trains at Cowdenbeath Martial Arts centre on Broad Street at the "Old Fountain building" and they offer classes in karate, keep fit, sports karate, fitness and MMA and Kickboxingg.

All welcome just drop in any week night after 7pm. There is also a class for 3-7 years olds.

Pictured are British Karate coach Paul Newby with Lisbon Open winners Melissa Maxwell, Sammi Maxwell, Elize Bauld and Robyn Ironside.